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circular definition

noun, Logic.
1.
a definition in which the definiendum (the expression being defined) or a variant of it appears in the definiens (the expression that defines it).
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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  • This, however, is a circular definition: it assumes that we already know what is meant by 'known premisses'.

    The Problems of Philosophy Bertrand Russell

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